NPG Paper Links U.S. Immigration Policy and Population Growth

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Expert analysis shows new immigrants accounted for over 40% of all growth from 2010 to 2014.

Under current immigration policy, U.S. population is projected to hit 417 million in 2060 -- an increase of 98 million, or 31%, from 2014.

As the 2016 Presidential election race has included heated discussion on U.S. immigration policies – and the nation responds to a new nationwide campaign of immigration raids and deportations by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Negative Population Growth (NPG) will release a newly-revised Forum paper today. The updated piece includes analysis of the latest demographic data, finding that: “immigration's share of population growth today rivals that of 'The Great Wave' of mass immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”

In the new publication, author Edwin S. Rubenstein draws on his lengthy professional experience as a researcher and journalist to analyze the demographic impact of our nation’s present immigration system. Filled with shocking statistics, the NPG Forum paper "Immigration Drives U.S. Population Growth" demonstrates the true population implications of today’s mass immigration system. Rubenstein finds: “immigration doesn't just 'happen' – it is influenced by public policy... [By] 2050 net international immigration is expected to be five times larger than natural increase... Put differently, by 2050 immigration will account for 82% of total U.S. population growth.”

The new paper also highlights the rising numbers of foreign-born persons in the U.S. Rubenstein explains: “The immigrant share of the U.S. population has increased 2.8-fold since 1970... [Only] in 1900 and 1910 was the foreign-born percentage of population higher than it is today....” Rubenstein also notes the impact of second generation immigrants on America's population size and growth. In 2012, they were estimated at 35.7 million – “nearly as large a group as the foreign-born themselves... The Pew Research Center projects that 37% of the U.S. population will be immigrants or the children of immigrants in 2050 – the highest level in modern history.”

Validating what has long been held by NPG, Rubenstein adds: “Population growth is complicit in most economic, fiscal, and environmental problems facing the United States.” For this reason, Rubenstein explores possible future population projections under two scenarios: immigration, and no immigration. He notes: “It is rare that such a proposition is made in this country, and implementing such an extreme measure might prove to be impossible. But for research purposes, a zero immigration scenario is useful. It provides an upper bound to the impact that a restrictionist policy can have on future population growth.” He finds that: “a moratorium [from 2012 to 2060] will reduce U.S. population by 79 million, or 19%... For context, 79 million is the equivalent to the combined 2013 populations of... 29 states....”

Rubenstein’s work also addresses the significant impacts of immigration on the state level. He finds: “Twenty-eight states are projected to lose population under a 45-year immigration moratorium... In four states – California, Texas, Florida, and New York – 'Moratorium' projections show a significantly reduced 2060 population, more than 5 million below levels that would have been reached under current immigration policy.” In California – a state which NPG has warned will face significant consequences for its acquiescent immigration policies – Rubenstein found the greatest impact of the hypothetical moratorium: “California's population alone would drop by 13.7 million.”

NPG President Don Mann had strong praise for the new work, stating: “Rubenstein expertly highlights the dangerous population implications of our nation’s present immigration policies. Today's mass immigration levels have reached heights not seen for generations – and it no longer serves the best interests of Americans.” Mann added: “U.S. policies are pushing immigration to be the primary driver of U.S. population growth, and our everyday crises are growing as a result. We must act now to slow, halt, and eventually reverse our population growth – or future generations will ultimately pay the price for our failure to act. To preserve a livable America, we must greatly reduce immigration levels until our population reaches a much smaller, truly sustainable level.”

Rubenstein concludes: “Under current immigration policy, U.S. population is projected to hit 417 million in 2060 – an increase of 98 million, or 31%, from 2014... Immigration may be the most important political issue of our time. Absent a change in our policies, immigration is likely to be the major driver of U.S. population growth for the rest of the 21st Century.”


Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders regarding the damaging effects of population growth. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its Proposed National Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing U.S. population at a sustainable level – far lower than today’s. We do not simply identify the problems – we propose solutions. For more information, please visit our website at

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